Tony Jones: Utah Jazz assistant Igor Kokoskov recently interviewed for the Phoenix Suns coaching vacancy, league sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune
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Eurohoops.net: Igor Kokoskov a head coach candidate for the Phoenix Suns. Goran Dragic: 👍🏼🙏🏻
New name for the Suns coaching search – Phoenix will interview Utah assistant coach Igor Kokoskov for their vacant head coaching job. Former Rockets coach Kevin McHale and Spurs assistant James Borrego are also candidates.
Chris Mannix: With Mike Budenholzer withdrawing from consideration in Phoenix (per @Adrian Wojnarowski), look for Steve Clifford to interview at some point. Mutual interest, source told @The Vertical.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has withdrawn from consideration for the Phoenix Suns head coaching job, league sources tell ESPN.
Marc Stein: The Phoenix Suns have an interview scheduled Wednesday with former Grizzlies coach David Fizdale, league sources say
Phoenix is also expected to interview former Memphis coach David Fizdale and former Charlotte coach Steve Clifford. ESPN reported that Phoenix also has had informal conversations with former Orlando and Indiana coach Frank Vogel and ex-Cleveland coach David Blatt. A Suns source said Phoenix has not ruled out any candidates and will have “many conversations” with prospective coaches.
One NBA scout said the Suns’ job is more attractive than widely perceived because of the talent on hand – in particular Devin Booker and Josh Jackson – the possibility of getting the No. 1 draft pick, and General Manager Ryan McDonough’s assertion that Phoenix is done rebuilding and instead will aggressively pursue veterans either in trades or free agency.
Budenholzer met with Suns general manager Ryan McDonough and owner Robert Sarver over the two days, league sources said, after Atlanta granted him permission to meet with Phoenix late last week.
The Hawks and Budenholzer are both open to ending their partnership, but there are several hurdles that would need to be cleared before that could happen — including the Suns making an offer, agreeing to a contract, and possibile compensation to Atlanta.
The Suns are considering several head-coaching candidates, but have largely been focused on getting to know Budenholzer — who is a native of Arizona — in recent days, league sources said. Phoenix has had informal conversations with former head coaches Steve Clifford (Charlotte), Frank Vogel (Orlando and Indiana) and David Blatt (Cleveland), sources said. The Suns are still considering interim coach Jay Triano.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer has been meeting with Phoenix Suns management and ownership on Monday and Tuesday, and a sense is expected to emerge soon whether there is a pathway to Budenholzer becoming the Suns’ next head coach, league sources tell ESPN.
Scott Bordow: Suns have not ruled out anyone for the job. Talking to a wide swath of candidates.
Scott Bordow: Hearing that San Antonio Spurs assistant head coach James Borrego may be on list of candidates Suns want to interview. Has been assistant with Spurs, Hornets, Magic. Only HC experience 30 games with Magic as interim in 2014-15
Scott Bordow: Source: Suns will interview former Memphis coach David Fizdale next week.
David Fizdale has job interviews scheduled this week for vacant head-coaching positions with the New York Knicks and Phoenix Suns. But for now, Fizdale plans to attend Game 1 of the Warriors-Spurs series on Saturday so he can learn more.
Budenholzer is planning to meet with Suns officials early next week, league sources said. A native of Arizona, Budenholzer permission to meet with Suns about head coach opening has two years, $14 million-plus left on his contract.
Grand Canyon basketball coach Dan Majerle has turned down a request from the Suns to meet about the NBA team’s head-coaching vacancy. “(General Manager) Ryan (McDonough) reached out and asked to meet, but I told him that I was going to stay at Grand Canyon,” Majerle said. “I’m not ruling it out in the future. But there are still things I want to do here.”
Booker told azcentral sports Friday that he’s less concerned with whom the Suns hire than he is the future makeup of the roster. “I’ve had three coaches since I’ve been here and I’ve never blamed anything on one of the coaches as an individual,” Booker said. “I’ve had great relationships with all the coaches. I think the NBA just overall, when you need somebody to blame the first person that you go to is the coach. But at the end of the day you need the right players that match each other. Not just the best players. Chemistry helps. “I just don’t think a lot of responsibility is with the coaches. It’s a players’ league.”
“I love everything Jay has done since Day 1 that he’s been here,” Booker said, adding that it’s not fair to judge Triano by the Suns’ record. “He’s kept the same mindset of getting everybody better. It’s not an easy position with the young team we have. The basketball experience we have is not up to par. We have a lot of guys that are still just learning the basics.”
Zach Lowe: Have you heard any Jason Kidd to Suns buzz? Howard Beck: Yes, I have heard buzz. And in fact, when I asked a few people as I was talking to them about Jason in general, and I said, ‘Where could you see him ending up?’ And two people, in two very different walks of NBA life, both said Phoenix immediately.
The Phoenix Suns are beginning their search for a new head coach now, a process that will include interim coach Jay Triano, general manager Ryan McDonough told ESPN. In a coaching market that could be expansive with openings this spring, the Suns want to get a start on connecting with available candidates now and leap into the rest of the coaching market in mid-April when the regular season ends, McDonough said.
Triano’s agent, Warren LeGarie, requested that his client be able to prepare a formal presentation at the end of the season, away from the grind of the final weeks, LeGarie told ESPN. Triano prefers to make sure he’s giving his undivided attention to the team, ahead of his aspirations to be eventually installed as the full-time coach.
General Manager Ryan McDonough said Wednesday that Phoenix will conduct a “wide-ranging” coaching search that will include Triano, NBA coaches – both former head coaches and current assistant coaches – and possibly college head coaches. McDonough said that following the initial round of interviews the candidate list will be whittled down and “two or three” coaches will get more in-depth interviews before a decision is made.
McDonough said he expects to reach out to potential candidates sometime later this month or early April. He and Vice President of Basketball Operations James Jones will conduct the search, but McDonough said he’ll also receive player input and that Managing General Partner Robert Sarver will be involved as “much or as little as he wants.”
“Coach Triano will be part of the process,” McDonough said. “His interview will be a little different than the rest of the candidates, given that we like him and we’ve worked with him for two years now. It’s important to keep in mind he was not our head coach through the offseason so part of his interview would be, ‘If he was hired as the permanent head coach of the Suns, what would he do the same or what he would do differently? What support can we give him organizationally? What would his staff look like?’ I think all of that needs to be discussed.”
When you promoted Earl Watson to full-time coach you didn’t interview any other candidates. Will that change this time around? Robert Sarver: Yeah. We’re going to cast a much wider net. Q: Including college coaches? A: I don’t want to answer that. Q: Would it be imperative that a candidate has some head-coaching experience? A: That’s not for me to answer.
Robert Sarver: I think Jay (Triano) has had a good way with the players. He’s been solid and consistent with them and I think he stepped into a tough job that wasn’t what he signed up for and I appreciate what he’s done.
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April 21, 2018 | 5:23 am EDT Update
Marcin Gortat said Markieff Morris brought clippers to each practice and pestered him to shave the Mohawk. Realizing the amount of effort that went into Mohawk maintainence, Gortat finally gave in. The results: 16 points (8-10) and 5 rebounds.
Candace Buckner: John Wall explaining his encounter with Serge Ibaka: “I just told him to keep his hand out of people’s face. He was just pointing at everybody’s face. I told him get his hands out of people’s face and he went into a little rage.”
Josh Lewenberg: Delon Wright: “I mean, everybody’s competitive, so sometimes guys are talking and it gets a little chippy or whatever. We just have to do a better job of realizing they’re probably trying to get us off our game and stay focused, not let them get to us.”
Josh Lewenberg: Valanciunas: “They were celebrating, they were hyped up, they were playing hard, they were doing it all and we kinda, I don’t know, lost our momentum. Now we’ve just gotta learn from this.”
Parker declined to speak after the game, saying he had a meeting with the team and it was decided that it was better for him not to talk with reporters. Parker’s teammates sung his praises after the game.
“He was a professional tonight,” Bucks guard Khris Middleton said. “He’s had a rough start to the series. But we’ve all talked to him. We know that we need him (and) try to let him know that we need him. “It starts with him. Within. His mind has to be right when he checks into the game. It’s not just about scoring. It’s not about him. It’s about the team. We need him to be part of the team for him to be successful and for him to be successful.